Design for Social Innovation and Cities

Page 1

Design Innovation and Cities

ISBN: 978-88-941673-0-6 First Edition: 2019

Editors Ezio Manzini - DESIS Network President, Elisava, Barcelona, Politecnico di Milano Carla Cipolla - DESIS Network International Coordinator, UFRJ Rio DESIS Lab Editorial Team Rita Afonso, LuĂ­sa Tessari, Ingrid Bico Designer Raykar Rocha

Copyright Š 2019 Desis Network Association This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) You are free to share this work, with the understanding that you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code. The full licence is available at:

Design for Social Innovation and Cities Thematic Area 1 Project Compilation

DESIS Network Project Compilation

Summary What do DESIS Labs do? Design schools as agents of change; DESIS Lab activities: an overview

Design for Social Cohesion A la Plaรงa (Spain); Urban Refugees @Genk (Belgium); Words Upon a Place (Denmark); Community Design & Engagement (UK); Enabling solutions as a stimulus to the formation of a creative community (Brazil);

Design for Regenerating Commons Inova Verde (Brazil); Un espacio para todos (Colombia); Latham St. Commons (USA); 5-STAR: street project (Ghana); CampUs (Italy); Civic imaginaries (USA)

Kirkbride Road Reserve (New Zealand); Communicating the Wellbeing of a City with Santa Monica (USA)





Design for Urban Production

Design for Urban Infrastructure

Background Notes

NICE 2035 (China);

The Post-it City project (Spain);

City-making, Social Innovation &

ReTuren: an upcycling centre (Sweden);

Lettuce House (China);

Contemporary Design

City Services Hubs (Italy);

Urbannovation (China);

Work, Living, Action (Belgium);

Challenges for a Cyclable City (Brazil);

Urban Planting (China)

SIX-DAC (South Africa);


USIS: Social Innovation Support Unit (Brazil)




What do DESIS Labs do?

TA DxSIC Design schools as agents of change Design schools are, first and foremost, places where the next generation of design experts are educated. This fundamental educational role can be considered as an investment in the future: if we want to build a better future, we have to ensure that its constructors are well prepared, thereby, in this case, producing suitably equipped designers. But, in their work to build a better future, design schools, have also a second potential role to play: to behave as critical and creative actors in today’s context, i.e. to be agents of sustainable change in the ongoing social and environmental transition phase. It is important to note that this second role (to be agents of change) largely reinforces the first (to educate future generations of designers). As the world continues to undergo fundamental changes, the most effective way to prepare the future (competent) designers, is to involve students in problems, opportunities and design methods that, today, appear radically new. Thanks to this involvement, students have the potential to play a meaningful role in contemporary society (developing projects and producing critical knowledge) while simultaneously equipping themselves to be the leading designers of the fu-

ture (a time when the problems, opportunities and design modalities that are emerging today will have become the new standards). It is this double role of the design schools that DESIS Network, since its beginnong intended to support, with a special focus on the large field of design for social innovation towards sustainability.

the DESIS website) We acknowledge that this first map is not perfect; it can and will be improved. Nevertheless, it permits us to take a big step forward in understanding what the DESIS Labs really do and, on this basis, what the DESIS Network really is. The map clearly shows that several Labs projects are converging in three main areas. We have defined them:

DESIS Lab activities: an overview

1 Design x Social Innovation and Cities (TA DxSIC)

In the past 10 years, the 48 DESIS Labs, representing the nodes of the DESIS Network, have set up and participated in a large number of social innovation-related projects. Looking at these initiatives, it is clear that they take place in different areas of application and adopt different tools and strategies; some of them are visible on the DESIS Network website, while others have been presented at different DESIS events. However, until now, DESIS had conducted no general overviews on the Labs’ projects, which meant that they had not been mapped and there had been no observation or discussion of the emerging themes.

2 Design x Social Innovation and Services (TA DxSIS)

Now this work has been done and we finally have a map of several DESIS Labs’ projects (they can be seen on

3 Design x Social Innovation and Local Economy (TA DxSILE) On the basis of this observation we decided to create three dedicated (digital) spaces, called the DESIS Thematic Areas. In turn, we also decided that from this starting point a new series of DESIS books would be published. The text below is one of them.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Design 10

Innovation and Cities Responsibility for the information set out in the projects displayed in this publication lies entirely with the authors. The editors take no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information provided.

TA DxSIC Ezio Manzini DESIS Network founder Carla Cipolla DESIS International coordinator

The Thematic Area (TA) of “Design for Social Innovation and Cities” includes DESIS Labs’ projects with the keywords City, Social Innovation and Design. The aim of this TA is to gain deeper insight into these projects’ characteristics, specifically their aims, methodologies, results and the stakeholders involved. Given that the possible intersections between city-making, social innovation and contemporary design are many, and highly diverse, the following sub-themes have been defined within this Thematic Area. They cluster together different proposed projects, and in this way offer a more precise expression of what is actually happening in DESIS Labs as regards lines of action and thought. In this spirit, the DxSIC thematic area is currently characterised by four main sub-areas: 1 Design for social cohesion 2 Design for regenerating commons 3 Design for urban production 4 Design for urban infrastructure


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Design for Social cohesion Connecting people and generating public spaces: city-making based on the social dimension, via light projects with the capacity to reweave the social fabric. These projects stem from concern about the social cohesion crisis, and propose collaborative activities in order to rebuild social links (or to build them from zero, where migrants are concerned). The urban scale, and the space where these activities take place, is normally

the neighbourhood. Therefore, these projects can also be seen as initiatives for neighbourhood rebuilding, based on strategies aiming to use at best existing physical and social infrastructures. As a whole, the idea these projects propose is of city-making mainly based on its social dimension, via light projects with the capacity to reweave the social fabric.


Type of project Projects with the capacity to build social links between different citizens (migrants and tourists included). Bridging social differences, they overcome preconceptions and break down communication barriers. Through being staged in public spaces, they help to bring the shared spaces to life. The “expert design” contribution is mainly a form of design activism, based on communication and service design.

A la Plaça Modes of Public Space Appropriation in Barcelona

Spain - DESIS Lab Elisava Barcelona Alternative uses of the public spaces

How can design help in connecting people who are both different from and unknown to each other? In other words, how can it help to produce the fabric of a cosmopolitan fast-evolving society? How can extreme individualism be counteracted and the huge diversities found in contemporary urban spaces bridged? How can, in this context, public spaces be (re)generated?


High-school students involved in co-design processes.

Project Urban Refugees @Genk Belgium - LUCA DESIS LAB

Welcoming refugees via neighbourhood activities

Words Upon a Place Open questions

Enabling solutions as a stimulus to the formation of a creative community

Denmark - Design School Kolding DESIS Lab Integration of refugees via interactive benches.

SIA DESIS Community Design & Engagement UK – Sheffield Hallam

Using co-design to help improve the integration of migrants in the Page Hall district, Sheffield.

Kirkbride Reserve reduced New Zealand – Auckland University of Technology New Zealand - DESIS Lab Auckland Co-design for shared use of common land – negotiating between different positions.

Communicating the Wellbeing of a City with Santa Monica USA - ArtCenter College of Design Designmatters

Co-designed communication strategies for improving the quality of life index.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

A la Plaรงa


Elisava Barcelona Design School and Engineering DESIS Lab Elisava Barcelona Toni Montes Roger Paez with MEATS faculty and students Promoter(s). ELISAVA Barcelona Design School and Engineering Aknowledgements MEATS Elisava with Civic-City, Théâtre Saint-Gervais, Centre Pompidou, MACBA, Ajuntament de


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context The project is situated in Barcelona: a city with a tradition of lively and dynamic public spaces. Nevertheless, as in all the cities in the world, powerful socio-technical phenomena are threatening them. Therefore, to keep them alive and regenerate them in the new evolving contexts, something must be done to create more favourable conditions.

The project


The project deals with the complexity of the urban setting and its multiple and diverse appropriations, positing public space as the arena that has the potential to articulate and manage dissent without forcing (overly simplistic) consensus. Public space should become a gameboard of sorts that fosters mediation and embraces otherness.

The design process The project started mapping the present use of some squares. Then, on the basis of the first phase results, a temporary infrastructure has been built in a square in Barcelona. In doing that the SDSS strategy has been used. This is an open system that activates potential appropriations, triggering new types of uses and behaviors.

Governance and Policy Making The research carried out for ‘A la Plaça’ was presented in Centre Georges Pompidou in January 2018. The temporary infrastructure, aiming to test it out, and named ‘Slow Down, Stop, and Stay’, has been built in Plaça dels Àngels on June 30, 2018.


Activism and Civic Participation Design activism, using facilitating tools and ephemeral architecture prototypes have been used to trigger citizens’ alternative uses of the public spaces.

Design tools Mapping tools have been used to understand different forms of public appropriation. Facilitating tools have been adopted to propose a temporary transformation of a square through Ephemeral Architecture formats.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Urban Refugees



LUCA arts - DESIS Lab Belgium Virginia Tassinari Promoter(s). City of Genk Funder(s). City of Genk LUCA arts

DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context A neighbourhood of a formal industrial area, witha medium range of newcomers and issues connected to the social inclusion of the newcomers in the urbansocial tissue.

The Design Process Refugees, students, civil servants and local associations and initiatives working with refugees co-design new initiatives to strengthensocial cohesion in the city of Genk.

Governance and Policy Making 20

The project relates to governance and policymaking, as civil servants, local associations and refugees are activelyinvolved in all the different steps of the project. They will have an implication on governance and planning, sincethey co-design new initiatives that will be supported by the city of Genk and the local association in the implementation phase.

Social Interactions and Relations The projects aims to enhance social interaction and cohesion, feeling of belonging, proudness, identity, createconnections amongst people, conviviality, connections and resilience.



DESIS Network Project Compilation


Words Upon a Place


Design School Kolding DK: DESIS Lab Denmark Anne Corlin Promoter(s). Design School Kolding Alexandra Institute Kolding Municipality Kolding Library Byliv Kolding Funder(s). Kolding Municipality LBF (national building foundation) Aknowledgements 19 brave citizens in Kolding


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context Segregated cities is already a growing challenge in Denmark, with is bad for the social cohesion within a society. The increased mobility of people across the world is a premise that needs to be taken into account and cities must be designed towards being able to accomodate that. Placing newcomers in segregated places in cities is not the solution.

The Design Process


The project started with preparations for two workshops, - ‘Story Telling Cafe’, where participants were asked to tell a story based on the place, to be incorporated into the benches. After the workshop, the benches were developed and placed in August 2017. The benches work as such: when one sits on them, a story from one of the two places is played.

The Project The design experiment ´Words Upon a Place´ uses the design process and placement of four interactive beches, situated in two locations in the Danish city, Kolding: The deprived social housing neighbourhood, Skovparken, and the Library Park, to explore how design can be used to create coherence across the city, interaction between people and support social life.

Skill Training and Design Education The project shows how interaction between Design School Kolding, the Municipality and the public life can provide knowledge about doing design and acting on design in the field.


Governance and Policy Making The benches can be seen as metaphors for a community in the city, and are used to break down barriers. The benches with stories from the deprived neighbourhood, Skovparken, potentially contribute to give a voice to a community who does not normally have a great voice in society.

Activism and Civic Participation The project started with preparations for two participant workshops - ‘Story Telling Cafe’ for which the participants were invited through Facebook and personal network. The workshops were conducted in a participatory process, where the inhabitants contributed with stories about their place.

Social Interactions and Relations The project focuses on social sustainable city development, and wanted to investigate how design could be used to support a coherent city and interaction between people.

City and Environmental Planning The project is part of a research project initiated asa collaboration between Kolding Municipality and DesignSchool Kolding to gain knowledge about social sustainable city development. It focuses on how design of public urban places working with both social and physical design parameters simultaniously.


DESIS Network Project Compilation


Community, Design & Engagement


27 Sheffield Hallam University, SIA DESIS Lab, United Kingdom Roger Bateman, Eve Stirling, Melanie Levick-Parkin, Maria Hanson, Claire Craig, MA Design students Acknowledgements: Ian Ashmore, Sheffield City Council, Page Hall Youth Centre.

DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context Page Hall is a small suburb in the north of Sheffield that has been a centre of inbound migration for many years. Recently there has been an influx of Roma people from eastern Europe. The lifting of work and travel restrictions in 2014 have seen as big rise in the number of Roma people travelling to the UK. The influx of Roma has been cited as the cause of social pressures within the area becoming a real concern for local agencies. The many press reports, from across the media along with a recent TV series chronicling local resident have brought the problems facing residents in Page Hall to wider public attention.

The project 28

Governance and Policy Making There are an estimated 25 – 30,000 Roma living in Yorkshire & Humberside and in Sheffield between 2 – 4,000 with 1,500 living within the small suburb of Page Hall. There are many barriers to integration within the area with the City Council attempting to provide workable solutions. Working with members of the local community, experts from local support services and design + health researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, co-designed solutions for their individual requirements.

Activism and Civic Participation

42 Postgraduate Students from 6 disciplines exploring opportunities for co-designed solutions to community issues. Studying in cross disciplinary groups designing with and for the community, supported by staff from 2 faculties (Design and Health & Wellbeing) along with staff from Sheffield City Council, Community Development Officers, Health Improvement Office, Environmental Protection, Policy Improvements Office, Inclusion & Learning Services and the Public Service Transformation Network.

The projects were designed with the community and support services. The work to date is just the start of a much longer process of involvement with the Page Hall community. Since starting the work, the student’s work has mapped against Sheffield City Council plans for development work in the area – the student’s projects are designed with the community and follow a bottom-up asset based approach.

The design process

This project brings together the community with the City Council and external experts with staff and students from Sheffield Hallam University. The premise is that those involved form an ‘open’ community to work together to identify, conceptualise and refine responses to community and council issues - working together, bringing people together to strengthen the community through understanding and ‘improving’ local issues.

How can co-design offer a medium to enable people living in transient multi-ethnic ‘villages’ communicate with each other and build understanding across cultures and generations? Working with members of the community, key service providers and supported by experts, over the course of 6 weeks students developed proposals for projects that tackle some of the bigger issues facing the local population.

Social Interactions and Relations



DESIS Network Project Compilation

Production, Distribution and Consumption All the proposal generated are based on the principle of meeting the needs and requirements of users and the reduction of ‘enforced’ services in favour of the introduction of required support. A crucial aspect of this project deals with the shared use of resources in the neighborhood - public and private spaces, objects, local know how and distributed platforms.

Skill Training and Design Education


This project brings together students from 8 different courses along with external experts and stakeholders allowing the participants to work in multidisciplinary teams, combining competencies, understanding and skills. As a result of this students developed new personal skills which they were able to put into practice during their time on the project.

Job Creation This project develops understanding in students (and other stakeholders) of the wider employment/ entrepreneurship possibilities open to graduates through local, small scale activity over larger at length activity that almost always divorces the designer from the user.

Storytelling and Visualisation The audience is varied with design students from 8 courses, stakeholders in the broad area of community development, local authorities and such like. Photography, video and presentations have been the main dissemination tools for the project.



DESIS Network Project Compilation


Enabling solutions as a stimulus to the formation of a creative community


UNISINOS Seeding Lab Brazil Caio Miolo Karine Freire

Promoter(s) Centro Comunitário da Vila Gaúcha; Unisinos; Banco de Resíduos de Porto Alegre Funder(s) Caio Miolo; Karine Freire; Danara Dall Agnoll Aknowledgements Arlete Fante and professors Eliézes, Karen and Paula


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context Held with young people of the Vila GaĂşcha Community Center, the objective was to stimulate the formation of a creative community. For this, products and services were created that enabled participation and collaboration.

The Project This projetc comprised: activity diary and workshops to generate empathy and stimulate creativity; digital reference search platforms; partnership with Waste Bank to purchase materials; and training of local educators to give continuity to the project in post-design

The design process 34

Strategies have been developed to develop empathy with young people, to facilitate dialogue, to stimulate interest in social and collaborative activities, and to encourage more practical and creative activities.

Strategies: Cultural Probes The Diary of activities was created to develop empathy with the young people of the Vila GaĂşcha Community Center, to understand their interests and their life context. In addition, it was used to inspire, stimulate creativity, communication and collaboration.

Strategies: Digital Platforms The digital platforms Pinterest and Facebook to communicate with young people about weekly activities and to search for references of activities / products that could be worked out at each meeting.


Strategies: Exploration trajectory The board was used to make visible to the young people of the Community Center of Vila GaĂşcha t he process carried out. At each meeting, the teams formed by the youth themselves advanced "houses" as the amount of activities done.

Strategies: Codesign Offices Workshops to enable the youth of the Community Center to handle different materials and stimulate creativity and collaboration among them. For its realization, materials received from the Waste Bank were used.

Strategies for self-sustainability The enabling solution created aims to maintain its sustainability without the presence of the designer (in the post-design); for this to happen, it is shown in this system which actors, interactions and strategies are to be maintained and implemented. This enabling solution has been characterized as a process of social innovation through design, as it is a change in the way individuals or communities act to solve their problems or create new opportunities.


DESIS Network Project Compilation


Kirkbride Road Reserve


Auckland University of Technology DESIS Lab Auckland (AUT) New Zealand

Lisa McEwan, Gary Marshall, Celia Hall, Laura MacQueen, Jenny Palmer, Meighan Van Malland, Hasmita Patel. Promoters Auckland University of Technology (AUT), School of Art & Design. The Southern Initiative, Auckland City Council. Aknowledgements Resilio Studio, Cook Islands Development Agency of New Zealand, Auckland Teaching Gardens


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context The Mangere-Otahuhu district of Auckland, New Zealand, boasts a growing, youthful population, with 60% identifying as ‘Pasifika’. Community spirit is strong, but the area faces high levels of economic deprivation. The Kirkbride Road Reserve project seeks to strengthen the community through a design-led strategy for the shared use of common land.

The project


The Southern Initiative (TSI) is an entity within Auckland Council, tasked with creating transformational change. TSI manages a block of council land, currently occupied by Auckland Teaching Gardens and the Cook Islands Development Agency (NZ), both with distinct visions for the land. AUT design students were invited to explore the possibilities.

The design process AUT students began by undertaking a site analysis, mapping the current environmental and social capital, and also exploring the ecological and economic potential of the land. Tensions between stakeholders were managed by bringing both parties together, along with permaculture experts and council representatives, as co-design participants in the project.


Activism and Civic Participation The project arose from the two main stakeholder groups approaching council with opposing visions for the development of the land. The iterative nature of the co-design process meant that various actors from within those groups were able to voice their concerns and aspirations to the student designers, and to provide ongoing feedback on design developments. Their participation was integral to the project, and had distinct influence on outcomes.

Social Interactions and Relations The two stakeholder groups held disparate views on how the council land should be developed to best serve the community – one wanting to extend existing food gardens; the other wanting to build a multi-use community centre. The co-design framework enhanced the ability for the parties to work together on a mutually acceptable solution that not only addressed their unique goals, but also served to strengthen the social connections between them.

City and Environmental Planning Kirkbride Road Reserve is a largely undeveloped resource comprising 1938 hectares of land. The Southern Initiative had been reluctant to recommend a decision to council planners that would impact on the aspirations of either stakeholder group. The AUT student plan successfully addressed the needs of both, and highlighted new partnership opportunities. It being implemented by Auckland City Council over the next 5 years.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Production, Distribution and Consumption The aspirations of the Auckland Teaching Gardens were incorporated into the final proposal. A closed-loop vertical integration scheme would educate locals to successfully cultivate crops on site, a skill they could then take into their communities for growing food at home. Produce could be consumed at shared gatherings, gifting to local foodbanks, or sold at nominal prices to reinvest in garden operations. Organic waste would be composted on site.

Skill Training and Design Education


This project gave students an opportunity to put their design education into practice. Specifically, they were able to engage in cross-disciplinary collaboration; to put human-centred design methods into practice in a live project with real stakeholders; and to engage in a project with distinct social and environmental sustainability impacts. Stakeholders were also able to experience the benefits of participating in the co-design process.

Job Creation The student proposal outlined opportunities for several new ventures to be established at the site, including an early childhood centre to support working Cook Island families, a pop-up cafÊ and a semi-permanent farmers’ market, which would all provide employment. It also proposed a closed-loop food system, that while not providing jobs, would offer distinct economic benefits to low income households, through the provision of food.

Storytelling and Visualisation Students presented their work to council, local government agencies, charity groups and stakeholders at an event on site. They provided visual representations of their vision for the land, in a plan that could be carried out over five years. This was supported by a print document that provided detailed diagrams and written descriptions. Stakeholders were unanimous in their support of the plan, and it is currently being implemented by council.



DESIS Network Project Compilation


Communicating the Wellbeing


ArtCenter College of Design Designmatters USA Project Team: Jennifer May, Petrula Vrontikis, Youmna Chamcham, Sherry Hoffman

Promoters Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design, City of Santa Monica Office of Civic Wellbeing Funder Office of Civic Wellbeing, City Manager’s Office, City of Santa Monica Aknowledgements

Julie Rusk, Lisa Parson, Naomi Urabe, Libby Carlson, Evan Meyer, Laura Becker, Allison Ostrovsky


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context At the core of The Wellbeing Project is the Wellbeing Index, a measurement tool that provides an understanding of community wellbeing in Santa Monica, CA. The index combines available data, determines what new types of data should be gathered, and integrates in new ways all of the available information in order to shape effective future policy.

The project


Student teams worked alongside Santa Monica civic leaders to translate the City of Santa Monica’s Wellbeing Index into innovative transmedia design campaigns that communicate a shared understanding of the community’s strengths and needs as well as improve a collective sense of wellbeing for all citizens of Santa Monica.

The design process Students began with immersive field research in Santa Monica, CA; with the goal of finding the human voice of the city and how that corresponds to Wellbeing data. After review of the research findings, two creative campaign concepts emerged. The teams worked to develop their concepts into full campaigns that could be easily implemented by the City.


Governance and Policy Making The Wellbeing Index provides a baseline for understanding what contributes to wellbeing and how the city and community can work to improve it. By understanding more about what makes a community thrive, civic leaders and community stakeholders can work together on making meaningful changes in the community and creating effective future policy and programs.

Activism and Civic Participation The index collected survey info from over 2,000 Santa Monica residents about personal experiences and thoughts on housing, mobility and development among other topics. Researchers also scanned public commentary on social media outlets to determine attitudes and concerns about money, jobs, economic disparity and other relevant issues.

Social Interactions and Relations One of the two project outcomes, “@santamonicafamily� was created with the goal of branding Santa Monica as a city that brings people together and establishing a sense of belonging and community. This student team expanded the idea of the traditional family portrait to encompass the larger extended family of Santa Monica. The simple act of meeting one another before a camera lens became a gentle reminder that Santa Monicans have a familial bond and they can invest in one another and their community.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

City and Environmental Planning The Santa Monica Office of Civic Wellbeing has expressed interest in moving the concepts forward to full implementation. Students considered how to further expand the projects for display around Santa Monica in prominent locations to create a citywide art/photo gallery; and immersive environmental interventions with colorful therma-prints cleverly positioned onto existing infrastructure to convey data/statistics and start conversations.

Skill Training and Design Education 46

Student teams were able to put into practice field research techniques learned during their course of study at ArtCenter. Additionally, students were in close contact with members of the Santa Monica Wellbeing Index who offered guidance, suggestions and affirmations with the teams’ concepts. As the students prototyped their campaigns, they were challenged to effectively connect people to data. Students had the opportunity to field test their prototypes in real-time with residents at Santa Monica events, farmer’s markets and by creating pop-up installations. Students took advantage of the immediate feedback loop from residents by carefully refining their projects.

Job Creation The installation and upkeep of the campaign elements and design interventions around the city of Santa Monica could potentially provide jobs for several artists, designers, and contractors.

Storytelling and Visualisation Employing wellbeing data results and field research, student teams designed, constructed and tested conceptualcampaigns in real-time with real residents.



DESIS Network Project Compilation

Design for regenerating commons Building place-related and place-caring communities: city-making based on communities-in-place. Thant is, on communities whose existence is motivated by a specific space. These projects relate to a physical space and they are aimed at creating a community rooted in it. Therefore, these communities-in-place are social forms whose existence is motivated by that specific space.

In this framework the project’s role is to connect a well-defined space with the process of building an equally well-defined community. By doing so, these projects enrich the scenario of the city as an urban commons.


Type of project Projects linking physical spaces to networks of people willing and able to take care of them. By doing so, they collaborate in generating, or regenerating, urban commons (meaning relational goods that improve quality of life, being produced and enjoyed in a shared way). The projects included in this group are very frequently developed in the framework of co-design processes (also intended as community-building processes), integrated with tools and competences coming from different design disciplines, primarily interior and space design.

Open questions How can design collaborate in creating unprecedented place-related social forms? In other words: how can it collaborate in building new forms of communities-of-place? How can existing spaces be used and reused to generate new urban commons? How can places be connected with highly individualised and mobile people?

Project Inova Verde

Brazil – NAS DESIGN – UFSC Community garden created and maintained by university students on the campus.

Un espacio para todos

Colombia – Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Departamento de Diseño Co-design and co-production of a playground in an underserved communities.

CampUs Italy - Polimi DESIS Lab Use of university campus spaces to foster social relations and develop actions that may result in social enterprises.

Civic imaginaries: the urban commons USA - Parsons DESIS Lab

A year-long study on the city as an urban commons, a space where a variety of resources are regulated and shared.

Latham St. Commons

USA – Carnegie Mellon University A place where the community can create models for economic development, using the built environment and its relationship with the community.

5-STAR Street project Ghana – KNUST – Desis Lab Motivating residents in Moshie-Zongo to keep their surroundings clean in order to create much-needed value for the community.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Inova Verde


NAS Design – UFSC CNPq Brasil NAS Design

Coordination Luiz Fernando Figueiredo

Promoters Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, NAS Design Funder NAS Design Aknowledgements NAS Design: Carina Scandolara, João Meyer, Mateus Sauer, Sabrina Sabatini, Ricardo Straioto, Eliete Ourives, Larissa Berlato, Alaís Souza Ferreira, Flávia Conte, Isabel Victoria e Luis Guilherme.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context In the Central University Campus of the Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC / Brazil it is possible to identify some abandoned or poorly used spaces, often accumulating garbage. Among these, NAS Design/ UFSC identified a area space, next to Block A of the Communication and Expression Center, that practically unused with potential for a transformation of the environment.

The project


The Inova Verde project seeks the transformation of spaces that are abandoned or misused in a redefined environment, with a Design look in search of concepts such as social conviviality, well-being, renovation, green, innovation and aesthetics. From the development of a community garden together with the community of UFSC and its surroundings.

The design process The methodology used was the Project Guide of NAS Design.The project is still in progress missing the following steps: implementation of furniture, workshops and communication.

Governance and Policy Making The project aims to interlink interactions top-down, bottom up and peer-to-peer between the stakeholders promoting a teaching-learning process and community engagement .


Activism and Civic Participation Awareness and involvement UFSC’s students, employees and teachers as well the surrounding community are encouraged to participate in the development, implementation, maintenance and consumption of the garden products.

Social Interactions and Relations Commmunity engagement Co-creation process Social service The project aims to create not only a place for cultivation, but also an environment of socialization, education, well-being and relaxing.

City and Environmental Planning Resignification of spaces Community garden The project is still in progress in the implementation phase of the garden. Design is using to create new spaces of well-being, social interaction and cultivation of herbs, medicinal herbs, vegetables and legumes.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Production, Distribution and Consumption Consumption experience Public vegetable garden The production, distribution and consumption of herbs, medicinal herbs, legumes and vegetables are in a collaborative way among the actors involved, incorporating concepts such as sustainability, organic and healthy food, among others.

Skill Training and Design Education Exchange of knowledge Teaching-learning


The project seeks the sustainability and subsistence of transformed space (re-signified) in a collaborative relationship and in a teaching-learning process with the space and resources to implement solutions.

Storytelling and Visualisation Co-design sessions Connective design Brainstorming Mental maps A survey was carried out to conceptualize the garden project through individual mental maps with project members and collaborators of NAS Design followed by a Brainstorming. The connective design was used to conceptualize the project, through a focus group and grouping of concepts by affinities to be performed.



DESIS Network Project Compilation


Un espacio para todos


Universidad del Norte DISCA Lab Laboratorio Experimental de Diseño para la innovación social del Caribe Barranquilla – Colômbia Grupo Cambium

Promoters Universidad del Norte, Design Dept. Funder Cambium Group Aknowledgements The whole community of Villa Carín, children, youth and adults who took part in the realization of this project.


DESIS Network Project Compilation

Context Villa ClarĂ­n almost 15 years ago is an informal settlement with open spaces where people, mostly kids, doesn't have any space to play or share with the other people of the community, because the irregularity of the land and the amount of waste.

The project


"Villa ClarĂ­n, a space for all" is a project that is generated by community desire to have a more suitable to carry out their leisure activities, especially for children. With this space it is intended that people can generate better links between them, share and enjoy in group; and to positively impact the future growth and development of the community.

The design process 1. Identification of spaces 2. Validation with the community 3. Participatory Design 4. Construction of space 5. Inauguration


Activism and Civic Participation Participatory design Inclusion From the beginning the project was conceived in a participatory way with the community, at share with them the desires, needs and potential of each one to be an active agent into the process of change. It is clear that the inclusion of the community in the design process and project generation is the only way to ensure the relevance there of.

Social Interactions and Relations Social fabric Community integration The project “Un espacio para todos" aims to motivate the integration of families and strengthening the social fabric of the neighborhood to create an organized, cooperative and responsible community to act collectively when conflict situations arise. Likewise it is an opportunity to encourage awareness of the use and care of public spaces as everyone's responsibility.


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City and Environmental Planning Measure social integration Appropriation The park is the first and only formal place for recreation and socialization of people from the neighborhood, which makes it a strong thermometer to measure the degree of social integration and the meaning of belonging and appropriation of the public. This is important to the extent that the community recognizes the potential to organize themselves, create and maintain other spaces. 60

Skill Training and Design Education Collective work Exploring skills Two activities at the beginning of the workshop were performed: the development of an individual portfolio that allowed internally explore the skills and attitudes of each; and the portfolio of group where each contributed their skills to support others and work collectively. This was a significant experience in working methods, since that in spite of the differences was achieved get the project leaving aside individual egos and making a bigger impact in the community.


Job Creation New creative techniques appropriation Maintenance and gardening collaborative efforts New iteration of the park creation have become initiatives to create new games and to maintain the park.

Storytelling and Visualisation Envisioning in co-design sessions Ideas sharing Vision of the place. The use of communication tools was a great help for community participation in the diagnosis of potentials and actors, the generation of ideas and evaluation thereof. Besides performing a live map of the neighborhood was also valuable to know the places, people and have a clearer vision of the place.


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63 Carnegie Mellon University School of Design USA Kristin Hughes and Mary Lou Arscott

Funder The Hillman Foundation, Peoples Gas, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer (PWSA)

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Latham Street Commons (LSC) focuses on improving the health of all people living in Pittsburgh’s Garfield, East Liberty and Friendship neighborhoods by addressing their social, educational and economic needs. In 2015, when we started this project, our site was a vacant set of 100 year–old garages tucked away between Penn Avenue, South Graham and Latham Streets. Now, on this ¼ -acre lot, amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, we put a novel approach at improving health into motion—working inside-out with this community every step of the way. Producing food, and establishing access to it, has been integral to the project from the beginning.

The project Latham Street Commons is a place where the community can create models for economic development by using the built environment and its relationship with the community. Our multi-disciplinary approach includes people and place, education and economics, social, nature and health.


The design process Founders Kristin Hughes and Mary Lou Arscott have spent the last two years working alongside community residents. This work informed several small initiatives. Examples include: Health: Partnership with Family Health Clinic to reimagine traditional approaches to delivering important health information about HPV and then offering HPV vaccinations on-site at LSC. Exceeding expectations, 297 young adults were vaccinated, preventing them from getting an HPV-related cancer. Climate and energy: PWSA has educated our team on the devastating impact of stormwater runoff. Our site now contributes an estimated annual 137,916 gallon load to the City’s sewer system. We built a continuous, 20 vessel rainwater collection and dispersion system, but need a more permanent solution. Food access: For two years we have worked alongside the community, experimenting with growing food on rooftops and vertical walls and giving away significant amounts of produce. Underserved youth: In the summer 2017 we tested our assumptions regarding our curriculum for programs at LSC. Workshops focused on 21st century literacies, strengthening identity, and the importance of self-care.


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Governance and Policy Making In partnership with the Peoples Gas & Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), LSC has successfully adopted Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) system, which allows the bakery to be self sufficient in terms of energy needs and uses recovered CO2 from exhaust for use in greenhouse operations. Eventually, the ability to share energy with neighbors changes the environmental government policy landscape, paving the way for policy changes. Our goal is to use compost to create bio-fuel getting one step closer to being totally energy efficient. 66

Activism and Civic Participation We have worked extensively with the community over several years to learn about their needs and wants. This process allowed the project to grow out of the specificity of the place, our local economy and culture. As the organization’s leaders, we serve as facilitators to help leverage the community’s ability to create healthy environments by providing resources to confidently pursue life changes. As the project evolves, we will continue to work alongside participants—inspiring them to design and build the world they want, while finding a place in the world as it is.


Social Interactions and Relations LSC is dedicated to improving the health of neighbors by addressing their social, educational and economic needs through relationships—person to person, person to community, and person to nature. We are co-creating an inclusive and engaged community, connecting neighbors by collecting and sharing information. We believe that fostering symbiotic relationships between people and nature helps all of us learn, practice and maintain sustainable ways of living.

City and Environmental Planning In a partnership with PWSA, we designed a solution that includes a rainwater collection system, connected to a new underground cistern which will be used to collect, store and use rainwater for irrigating our greenhouse and outdoor vertical garden. LSC’s green infrastructure will relieve the public sewer of stormwater (estimated annual 137,916 gallons). The CCHP system will provide energy for our site, and any additional power can exported and saved to the grid. All these elements working together impact multiple public entities.


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Production, Distribution and Consumption Energy-saving incentives and rewards for bakers running after-school social enterprise. At the LSC site, a kitchen will serve as a working bakery. The space will also include a greenhouse to grow and selling microgreens. Selling bread and micro-greens will generate revenue to offset operating and programming costs. This system, along with CO2 fertilization allows selling at market-value while “banking� energy savings to share with participants and invest in programming. 68

Skill Training and Design Education LSC site will be a classroom for learning, with basic baking skills, increasing knowledge and responsibility gained through after-school and an apprenticeship program. Creative tools, methods and coping strategies help participants feel prepared, confident and connected. Creating experiences that combine food, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, affords them opportunities to form habits that improve the quality of their lives and community.


Job Creation There is a clear model for LSC to thrive at making a strong, socially minded community. We learned that the profitable core to the project is a bakery (Night Owl Bakers) that will lend long-term financial sustainability. As with any social enterprise there is always risk involved but we are committed to being part of a solution that creates new types of workforce development and employment opportunities for of at-risk young adults in our region.

Storytelling and Visualisation Participants are learning to collect data on all the systems working at LSC, identify how this information can best be shared with others in their communities.


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Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) DESIS KNUST Kumasi Dr. Edward Appiah (Co-ordinator); Ralitsa Diana Debrah (operations manager)

Funders CeCast, KNUST CABE, DeCODE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Promoters KNUST, CABE, FOA, DeCODE Aknowledgements KNUST KReF, KNUST Faculty Members and Members of Moshie- Zongo Community Menbers, Kumasi Metro Authority


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Context Sanitation is a major challenge in Moshie-Zongo (one of the less developed communities in Kumasi, Ghana). The ‘5-star street’ project is designed to address sanitation challenges in the Zongo community through the 5-Star Street project. This way the motivation of sustainability may be captured and imbibed by residents to keep their surroundings clean to attract the needed value for the community.

The project


Obtaining a deeper and clearer understanding of the factors influencing how the citizens and residents are doing and behaving the way they are currently. Identify and explore views on the problems/ challenges and the potential benefits concerning the development of design-thinking approach for Social Innovation

The design process -Co-design Human – Centred -Technologically feasible and Economically viable. -Participatory network -Discussion with community members, such as lan-dlords, experts, tenants, employees of related agen-cies(Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly- KMA).


Governance and Policy Making Interactions with community leaders; Government council representatives decision and policy makers The project is ongoing and hosted by the DESIS LAB, KNUST. It is managed by KNUST staff and Youth committee leaders in the Moshie-Zongo community with support from international partners (LeNSes)

Activism and Civic Participation Community-based and open participation with government partners; Designed and managed by KNUST and Moshie –Zongo community The 5-Star street project is co-created with the Moshie Zongo community and KNUST staff. Stakeholders in the community such as community leaders, youth leaders and KMA staff are actively involved and collaborating with KNUST team to manage the project.

Storytelling and Visualisation The main mode of disseminating the concepts to the Moshie- Zongo community is photos, audio recordings and multimedia messages to the community to obtain feedback which were used to improve the initial concepts on the 5-STAR street project.


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Social Interactions and Relations Convivial; Open community The project has fostered open interaction between Moshie- Zongo community and KNUST, Kumasi Metropolitan assembly, creating an enabling environment for research collaboration and development.

City and Environmental Planning Environmental planning; Public space acquisition


The project requires the active participation of leaders in the Moshie-Zongo community for environmental planning in order to add value to their communities. This process will in-turn enable them obtain the 5-STAR street status which will make them maintain a cleaner environment.

Production, Distribution and Consumption Promoting clean environment through the 5-STAR Street project; Addressing Youth unemployment The 5-STAR street� project is a concept to create sustainable clean environment as a way of changing the mindset and behaviour of the citizens in Moshie-Zongo and thus creating a sustainable clean environment.


Skill Training and Design Education Collaborative team effort; Co-creating; Community engagement The ongoing project has generated interest in the Moshie - Zongo community and the youth are being trained to manage the project in the community.

Job Creation Local chief representative involvement; Enriching concepts for sustainable clean environment The young trainees will be able to acquire some skills for a life long career. This can potentially improve the socio- economic status of the members in the community.


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CampUS Incubation and settings for social practices Politecnico di Milano Polimi DESIS Lab Italy Davide Fassi, Francesca Piredda Davide Fassi, Francesca Piredda

Funders Polisocial AwardPolitecnico di Milano Promoters Politecnico di Milano, Design Department POLIMI DESIS Lab. Aknowledgements Elena Perondi, Pierluigi Salvadeo. Laura Galluzzo, Barbara di Prete, Martina Mazzarello, Annalinda De Rosa, Simona Venditti, Elisa Bertolotti, Paolo Landoni, Dario Sigona


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Context The Politecnico di Milano’s Bovisa Campus and Milan’s Zone 9 district constituted the actual case study where actions to concretely involve citizens and other social actors have been tested, making it possible to explore original methods for creating relations between stakeholders

The project


CampUS is a research project aiming at creating create spaces on university campuses as incubators for social practices in which actions to foster social relations can be developed, trialled and prototyped with a method based on co-design and participatory design and to develop a “landscape” of permanent actions with the potential to result in social enterprises, through a process of virtuous exchange with the aforementioned prototyping actions. Four actions: - Urban Agriculture -Social web neighbourhood tv -Temporary and itinerant pavilion for local associations activities -Business modelling for actions long term sustainability.

The design process. October 2014. First consultation with partners | April 2015 – August 2016. In-the-field activities | September 2016. End of the programme


Activism and Civic Participation Wide range of citizens involved; Collaboration with local municipality and schools The campUS project was thus structured along two lines: a theoretical, metadesign dimension and an applied design dimension for trialling dynamics of concrete involvement/engagement, testing tools and prototyping models of innovative social practices. The Politecnico di Milano’s Bovisa Campus and Milan’s Zone 9 district constituted the actual case study where actions to concretely involve citizens and other social actors have been tested, making it possible to explore original methods for creating relations between stakeholders.

Social Interactions and Relations NEET; Over65; Connecting dofferent generations Over 40 cultural and social associations operating in the Milan Zone 9 district were involved in the implementation phase. The research-action project targeted NEETs (young people Not in Education, Employment or Training) and the over sixty-fives, providing NEETs with the opportunity to acquire skills and become involved in actions designed to promote intergenerational dialogue with a view to giving back to the over 65s a significant social role by placing value on their historical memory.


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Production, Distribution and Consumption Community gardens; Web format for social tv; Cultural events


The main result has been the development of an exportable model of social engagement and cultural exchange between communities of citizens and the university community through the development and implementation of a package of tools, or toolbox, with the capacity to: 1 - draw up guidelines for local administrations for the establishment of shared urban community gardens in unused public green areas; 2 - co-design, together with vulnerable neighbourhood groups (NEETs), short web series – including as a support for social neighbourhood TV stations – as a system of narration for the social practices identified; 3 - design and prototype a temporary, transportable installation: a mobile pavilion representing new (“open source”) models for use of the area; 4 - develop an innovative economic model for managing these initiatives in the long term based on the exchange of already locally available skills (with a view to partnerships, product placement, sponsorship, supply of services, etc.)

Skill Training and Design Education Co-design Participatory design Co-building Open access to design tools Several stakeholders have been involved in several phases of the project with different roles and outcomes. Every actions was designed to have a co-design phase with local associations or informal groups, a concept development done together with postgraduate students of the School of Design and Architecture and a co-construction of the final output together with citizens. All the design tools have been published online on with an open license to be used by everyone.


Job Creation


Knowledge transfer Social neighobourhood tv

40+ associations involves 10+ events 1500+ participants 13 postgraduate thesis 6 interniships 5 scientific papers 1 book 800 like on Facebook page

As regards the Social Neighbourhood Tv action named “PLUG”: during the two years of activity (2014-16), 11 young people aged between 16 and 22 and 3 youth workers were involved. In addition, during 2017, following an agreement with ITSOS Milano, a class of 20 students and 2 teachers worked with the Abelia Youth Centre and Fondazione Aquilone on a pilot dual training (school and work) project. A web series on Hip Hop has been launched and curated by them.

Storytelling and Visualisation Online/Offline Enabling people to replicate the actions Storytelling and visualisation methods were used as tools to foster and activate the consultations and to disseminate the results of the project. A website, a facebook page, a web tv format and several tools to disseminate and replicate the results have been produced.

Awarded with «Compasso d’oro»

Publication ISIRC2016 Several papers has been published joining international conferences, and one book with Springer is ready to be published in 2019.


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Civic imaginaries


CampUS Incubation and settings for social practices Politecnico di Milano Polimi DESIS Lab Italy Davide Fassi, Francesca Piredda Davide Fassi, Francesca Piredda

Funders Polisocial AwardPolitecnico di Milano Promoters Politecnico di Milano, Design Department POLIMI DESIS Lab. Aknowledgements Elena Perondi, Pierluigi Salvadeo. Laura Galluzzo, Barbara The New Martina School Parsons di Prete, DESIS Lab Mazzarello, Annalinda United States De Rosa, Simona Venditti, Elisa Bertolotti, Nidhi Srinivas, Paolo Landoni, Dario Eduardo Staszowski Sigona


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Context Currently at The New School connections are emerging between graduate programs across the various colleges. In different ways, each node in this emerging network is forming within a climate of cross-disciplinary research and practice; and each is responding to seismic shifts in disciplines by exploring new norms and forms of practice. In order to understand the complex challenges of our times, and to respond in ways that can address that complexity, we need to find new ways to teach, learn and practice. To do this, The New School launched a series of University Transdisciplinary Labs (UTransLabs) that bring together faculty and graduate students from across the various colleges and programs together with external partners to forge new practices.


The project In 2016 we launched “Civic Imaginaries: The Urban Commons”, a year-long inquiry into the urban commons, housed at The New School’s University Transdisciplinary Graduate Lab, which seeks direct sharing of ideas and skills between students and faculty trained in different disciplines. In this year-long course we study the city as an urban commons, a space where a variety of resources are regulated and shared. By ‘urban commons’ we mean a variety of social arrangements that enable sharing of information, materials and resources among people in a city, for their needs. Arrangements might include: the sharing economy, co-working spaces, and forms of organizational governance.


Civic Imaginaries: Urban Commons Our course included students and professors from disciplines of Design, Management and Architecture, with professional training in Organizational Change, Urban Planning, and Public Policy. As part of this initiative we collaborated with Christian Iaione, Director of LabGov and Associate Professor of Public Law at LUISS University and Sheila Foster, University Professor at Georgetown University. Members of the “Urban Commons� 2016/17 course included Nidhi Srinivas and Eduardo Staszowski (faculty); Gonzalo Rovegno Rocha, Federico Zuleta Rios, Courtney Loiacono, Lissa Fedrizzi, Younghun Kim, Rachel Murray, Maria Isabel Saffon Sanin, Rosemary Santos, and Cynthia Warner (students).

The design process Our activities were divided in two, on the first stage, during the Fall 2016 Semester, we studied the urban commons through broad conceptual questions regarding cities and the potential for sharing and polling resources in contemporary urban spaces. By the end of that period, we were able to reach to a shared vision and definition of the Urban Commons, where we determined its benefits and limitations within three specific areas of study: entitlement, governance, and decommodification.The following stage, during the Spring 2017 Semester, the course was intensely practical, devoted to strategies for transforming the urban commons in terms of a chosen project area that was born out of our understanding of the Urban Commons benefits and limitations. The themes identified were: alternative economies, dynamic governance, and reclaiming spaces. This revealed an opportunity to understand the interplay between design and management in urban settings, through seeking for creative experiences in urban activism and innovative forms of social analysis. We used the themes identified as lenses to recognize and enact the urban commons. Applying methods for defining communities and what resources they hold in common; methods for defining modes of engagement and cocreating the urban commons; and methods for prototyping design interventions with users.


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How We Learned -We chose 14th street as a test-bed for studying the urban commons. About 2.5 miles long, the street spans -Manhattan East to West, crossing distinct and quite different neighborhoods, from the Lower East Side (Loisada) to Chelsea and the Meat Packing district. -Analyzed field observations by clustering photos tied to themes like “abundance,” “in conflict,“ “wasteful,” “restrictive,” “underutilized,” “open,” and “modified” -Wrote love letters to 14th Street that highlighted the positive, the painful, and the future possibility of the space(s) -Applied frameworks for categorizing acts of commoning: Small or large acts? Acts that regenerate, maintain, extract, or degrade? Acts that share or cooperate? -Analyzed specific acts of commoning through the lenses of typical challenges and typical strategies related to commoning.


Three Lenses Through our research about the Urban Commons emerged three different lenses: -Alternative Economies -Inclusive & Dynamic Governance -Reclaiming Spaces

Alternative Economies We explored different economic models that differ from the mainstream capitalist model of today. Our current system promotes ideals of value exchange and the marginal cost of production almost always being greater than zero. In this system, individual interest is driven by material gain and physical and intellectual property are meant to be privatized and protected. Alternative economic systems promote ideas of shared value creation, the marginal cost of production remaining close to zero, collaboration, connectivity, and the sharing of ideas.


Inclusive & Dynamic Governance As we explored the urban commons, we considered what it means to govern a common good or resource. We studied models of alternative forms of governance that promote inclusion, and enabled disenfranchised groups to gain power through commoning. We also studied dynamic forms of governance, those that cultivate evolving structures for decision-making and maintenance. These models promote ideas such as membership, stewardship, horizontality, and collective ownership.

Reclaiming Space Our exploration of reclaiming space centered around repurposing spaces for new kinds of access and value. The reclaiming of spaces included the opening or reopening of access to a particular space, from private to public ownership in order to produce greater social value or good for a community. This reclamation can include the activation of a space, but can also new forms of ownership, governance, or stewardship.


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Design production Enhancing distributed manufacturing and the regenerative economy in the city: city-making intended to start and/ or support a distributed urban economy by creating new and sustainable value chains, and the social networks related to them. The common denominator of these projects is their contribution to regenerating the urban productive fabric, and to doing it in a sustainable way. This goal is achieved from different starting points (such as Fab Labs, digital and traditional craftsmanship, small indus-

tries, research centres, repair-reuse shops, informal “workers’ networks”, etc.), with projects converging in their common aim of creating new value chains, and the related social networks. In doing so, these projects enrich the urban ecosystem. In fact, thanks to the miniaturisation of several tools and the potentiality provided by a higher degree of connectivity – and, most importantly, in the perspective of a distributed regenerative economy – they can effectively bring production (and therefore jobs and the related social capital) back into the city.


Type of project Projects that support and connect a variety of production activities. They enrich the urban ecosystems, bringing production (and therefore jobs and the related social capital) back into the city. The main design disciplines involved are strategic design, product-service system design and communication design.

Open questions How can design enhance and connect urban production activities, in a regenerative economy perspective? In other words: how can it support socio-technical ecosystems in which sustainable urban production can thrive? How can Fab Labs, digital and traditional craftsmanship, small industries, research centres, repair-reuse shops and informal “workers’ networks” be integrated into the larger scenario of “new and sustainable urban manufacturing”? How can unprecedented value production constellations be created inside and around the city?

NICE 2035: Neighbourhood of Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship toward 2035 China Tongji University, Tongji DESIS Lab

Urban Planting

China, Tsinghua University DESIS Lab, Beijing Food, vegetable gardens, products for urban gardening and urban regeneration

Neighbourhood development moving from distributed campus activities.

ReTuren. An upcycling centre in SWEDEN

Malmö University, School of Arts and Communication – Malmö University DESIS Lab A platform to explore how upcycling, making and repairing items can contribute to local sustainability.

City Services Hub Milan, Politecnico di Milano Spaces for citizen engagement offering an innovative mix of public and private services, focusing on specific areas of need

Work, Living, Action Hasselt University and LUCA DESIS Lab

A design research into the interactions between work and the city


NICE 2035

NICE 2035 Neighborhood of Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship toward 2035 Tongji University Tongji DESIS Lab China

Promoters College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Siping Community Funders Multiple funders

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Background Recently released ‘Shanghai Master Plan 20172035’ (also known as “Shanghai 2035”) underlines the potential role of neighborhoods in developing the city into a more attractive, humane city. NICE 2035 envisions neighborhoods as arenas for social innovation as well as business innovation, and community-supported ecosystems of openinnovation for future living.



NICE 2035 is a framework project under which a number of social innovation initiatives grounded in the Siping neighborhood in Shanghai – where Tongji DESIS lab is located – are carried out. Siping neighborhood is characterized by old residential areas built in the 1970’s and 80’s for industrial workers, and higher educational institutions (Tongji university).

The project A network of labs that have different goals and focuses ranging from food, entertainment, mobility, to incubation have been established in the Siping neighbourhood. These self-standing labs explore future ways of living autonomously, but at the same time, aim to create cluster effect together in the neighbourhood, and the city in the long run.


NICE 2035 also has created a network of people collaborating together beyond geographical, disciplinary, and social boundaries for common interest and goals through online platform and offline platforms.

The design process By adopting the approaches of ‘living lab’ and ‘open innovation’, urban residential communities are considered as potential urban innovators that can cocreate and experiment new ideas for future living.



VA SYD Malmö waste department STPLN Malmö Makerspace Malmö Cultural Department SY SAV Regional company for waste treatment Malmö University, School of Arts and Communication Malmö University DESIS Lab Sweden

Savita Upadhyaya, Anna Strannegård and Anna Seravalli

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Context ReTuren aims at facilitating the management of cumbersome waste in urban environments and promoting new behaviours towards waste minimization.I t is also a platform that aims at integrating concerns about waste management with concerns about social sustainability. ReTuren is placed in Lindängen a neighborhood in the southeast of Malmö. The area is characterized by a strong vitality. People living in the area and local civil servants are collaboratively tackling some issues that affect the neighborhood. 96

The initiative ReTuren is a service that offers citizens the opportunity of: 1- dispose their hazardous and cumbersome waste; 2- exchange for free things in good conditions; 3- participate and drive activities focusing on upcycling and repairing in a workshop. ReTuren started as a pilot project in 2015 driven by VA SYD (Malmö’s waste organization) in collaboration with STPLN (Malmö makerspace) and Malmö University. In 2016 at the end of the first iteration a new organizational model was developed with the cultural department taking a leading role in driving the initiative in collaboration with VA SYD, STPLN and SY SAV (regional company for waste treatment).


The design process The design process entailed the definition of a preliminary concept among the funding partners (VA SYD, STPLN and Malmö University). Such concept however was left pretty open and it was developed then throughout the pilot phase by strongly engaging people living in the area and local actors. Through a co-design process of “infrastructuring”, it was possible to experiment with activities and build collaborations with local actors. This led to a strong sense of commitment and shared ownership (i.e. commoning) among people living in the area and other organizations. Shared commitment and co-ownership have been key, once the pilot was terminated, for the development of a long-term organizational model for ReTuren, that relies on the collaboration among different city departments and the NGO driving Malmö Makerspace. A design researcher has been working ”embedded” in the pilot of ReTuren being part of the core team developing and driving the pilot/prototyping phase. Her role has been to drive the design process together with the civil servants and supporting appropriation of co-design approaches among them.


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Governance and Policy Making

Activism and Civic Participation

Co-production involving citizens, different city departments, NGOs, university;Shared ownership and responsibility spread across different actors; Towards a new waste handling governance?

A platform to explore how upcycling, making and repairing can contribute to local sustainability

ReTuren is based on the long-term collaboration, shared ownership and responsibility of different actors in the managing and driving of the service and its activities. This long-term collaboration opens up for an opportunity to explore new forms of governance within waste handling. In aiming towards waste minimization and reduction, ReTuren shows how competences about traditional waste handling need to be integrated with competences about social sustainability and citizens’ engagement. This opens up the opportunities to experiment with more open and inclusive forms of governance and decision making about waste handling.

ReTuren has been a resource for people living in the area and other organizations working in it. Particularly the workshop has been used by different actors as a space to drive making, upcycling and repairing activities. These activities have been often aimed at creating opportunities for social gathering as well as reappropriation of the public spaces of the neighborhood.

Social Interactions and Relations (re)making is connecting Commoning ReTuren has been further exploring how making and making together can be used as means to create new and reinforce existing social relationships. Additionally, the close involvement of citizens and local actors in the development of the initiative supported the emergence of strong sense of co-ownership and shared responsibility about the service. The development of ReTuren has been a process of “commoning� the different functions and aspects of the services, that is to experiment if and how co-ownership and shared responsibility could be establishment. This has been fundamental in ensuring not only engagement and commitment but also, on the long-run in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the service itself.


City and Environmental Planning Alliances across departments and sectors for a holistic perspective on sustainability ReTuren allowed to experiment how alliances across city departments and actors belonging to diverse sectors can support strategies and ways of working that address sustainability in a holistic way and consider at the same time environmental, social and economical aspects. 10 similar centers have been included in the city general plan.

Production, Distribution and Consumption Waste minimization From consuming to reusing and repairing ReTuren is a platform that encourages and supports people in reusing and repairing things rather than buying new ones. It also encourages people in sorting waste in the correct way. A key aspect in such encouragement and support is the meeting between users and the staff of ReTuren. The goal with such encounter is to provide users with information about ReTuren functioning and waste handling and waste minimization in general. Particular attention has been put in reworking existing stereotypes about reusing. Economical reasons represent a key motivation for some of the users to exchange things for free. The staff has been working to lift up the environmental positive impact of such activity in the dialogue with users. This has been important in terms of challenging existing assumptions and negative feelings related to reusing.


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Skill Training and Design Education

Job Creation

The ÂťembeddedÂť co-designer Students work as a part of a long-term effort

Supporting employment of people far from the job market; Valuing competences about the local area

In the development and running of ReTuren a co-design researcher has been working embedded in the pilot. She has been closely working with the coordinator and the project leader of the station in order to support the use of co-design approaches in the pilot as well as facilitating the appropriation of these approaches among the people working with the service. In such perspective ReTuren has been offering a number of insights in relation to how co-design approaches might be relevant in the development of a co-produced service and how they can be appropriated by civil servants working with co-production initiatives. Different groups of design students have been also involved in ReTuren. Through temporal projects they have been exploring specific aspects in and around ReTuren that worked as a sort of platform for understanding (and training in) concepts, approaches and practices related to co-design and social innovation.

Some of the staff of ReTuren has been recruited through a public agency that aims at supporting people who has difficulties in finding a job. Additionally, after the pilot was concluded, a new coordinator was employed, a local person who has extend knowledge about the neighborhood, a strong engagement in local issues and a wide social network.



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Politecnico di Milano Polimi DESIS Lab Italy Anna Meroni, Daniela Selloni, Stefana Broadbent Martina Rossi, Susanna De Besi.

Promoters Politecnico di Milano, Design Department POLIMI DESIS Lab and School of Design. Partners BASE, Mare Milano, Comune di Milano, Cohub, FutureGov, HousingLab, L’Hub, Urbanfile.


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Context In contemporary cities, as Service Economy continues its ascent as a major economic sector, citizens are offered a growing number of public and private services to support them in their daily lives. Many services remain virtually unknown and one of the challenges is to make them available, visible and accessible so that users can choose them and assess them. It is therefore important to envisage new ways to close the gap between citizens and services.

The project 104

Design of spaces for citizen engagement, the City Service Hubs. The Hubs offer an innovative mix of public and private services, focusing on specific areas of need: food, health, sport, housing, transportation, environment, work, tourism, production, culture, education, family/ageing. The City Service Hubs are physical spaces made to house activities of co-design and co-production of services. They are new type of urban localities, unique and scalable, different from traditional retailers, something in between new “shops� and service factories.


The design process May – June 2017. The projects were developed by the students of the M.Sc. in Product Service System Design of Politecnico di Milano, following these steps: 1: Analytical and ethnographic research. Understanding the topic and framing the opportunity, observing people and contexts on-field; 2: Co-designing with stakeholders and beneficiaries to ideate and develop a solution; 3: Designing and developing the solution.

Governance and Policy Making The projects address the city of Milan and take into account the specific role of the Municipality and the relations between the public and private actors involved in delivering or supporting the Hub. These relations, together with the financial, information and material flows are shown through the stakeholder maps and system maps, two peculiar service design tools.


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Activism and Civic Participation

City and Environmental Planning

Citizens co-design and co-produce services Open and collaborative services

Each City Service Hub addresses a specific issue: energy and environment.

All of the project envision scenarios where citizens play active roles both in co-designing and co-producing services, at different levels.

Two projects, for examples, focus on specific fields: energy and environment. The City Service Hub addressing the issue of energy is run by a partnership of the public administration and private sponsors. It provides services for domestic management andfor supporting people in the development of new projects and solutions about clean energy. The Hub addressing the environmental issue aims at providing the citizens with the functional knowledge, the spaces and tools they need in order to make them discover the cool and convenient side of up-cycling, and therefore base on it their new philosophy of life.

Social Interactions and Relations The Hubs leverage the interactions between the partners to work; The Hubs aim at building stronger relationships. 106

The Hubs leverage the interactions between the different stakeholders to work and to to make the services work. Some of the projects specifically aim at building and strengthening relations between the components of a family, the tourists and the locals or the neighbours.

Storytelling and Visualisation Physical and digital hubs | Digital tools are used to enhance the physical experiences. The hubs are physical places empowered by digital tools that help to communicate the activities, connect the users and foster collaboration. Therefore, each City Service Hub is supported by an online platform to enable or enhance the physical experiences.

Production, Distribution and Consumption Each City Service Hub addresses a specific issue: production and craft. One project focuses on the field of distributed production and craft. The City Service Hub addressing this topic aims at encouraging artisans to expand their businesses, helping them in producing, exhibiting and selling their produce. The Hub supports its members to experiment and participate in activities that help them meet and co-create with other disciplines and become innovative in their fields.


Skill Training and Design Education Each City Service Hub addresses a specific issue: education One project focuses on education, with the aim of promoting a soft-skill culture, by creating shared wisdom amongst citizens and defining an action plan to bring soft-skills into the education curriculum of citizens. The Hub, thus, offers activities easily accessible by anybody.

Job Creation Each City Service Hub addresses a specific issue: work and entrepreneurship One project focuses on the field of work and entrepreneurship, and aims at creating formal and informal encounters for companies and job seekers. The Hub also provides a common ground for professional improvement and aims at increasing satisfaction in work environment for both workers and companies.


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Work, Living, Action


Hasselt University, Spatial Capacity Building CampUS LUCA DESIS Lab Incubation and settings Belgium for social practices Politecnico di Milano Liesbeth Huybrechts, Polimi DESIS Lab Jenny Stieglitz Italy Davide Fassi, Francesca Funder(s) Piredda Fassi, Hasselt Davide University, IOK, Francesca Piredda VWI, Leiedal, Atelier Romain, AWB Funders Polisocial AwardPromoter(s) Politecnico di Omgeving, Milano Departement Flemish Government Promoters Politecnico di Milano, Aknowledgements Design Huybrechts, Department Liesbeth Jenny Stieglitz, Barbara Roosen, POLIMI DESIS Lab. Oswald Devisch (Hasselt University), Inge Pennincx, Aknowledgements Jan Zaman, Sophie De MulElena Perondi,Omgeving, Pierluigi der (Department Salvadeo. Laura Bram Flemish government), Tack (Leiedal), Tinne SchorGalluzzo, Barbara rewegen en Johan di Prete, MartinaVanopstal (IOK), David Vandecasteele Mazzarello, Annalinda en Jan Waumans (VWI), De Rosa, (IOK), BrechtSimona VandekerckhoVenditti, Bertolotti, ve (Atelier Elisa Romain), Federico Giaretta en Roel Dudal Paolo Landoni, Dario (AWB), Virginia Tassinari Sigona (LUCA)


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Work, living and action • Global and professional networks can disconnect work environments from surrounding living environments with implications for sustainability cities (SDG) • Study of 9 companies’ interactions with living environments to look for strategies to reconnect work and living via common public action • One of the cases: a growing media company confronted with internationalisation

Design anthropological study of how work grows with cities


• 9 companies; 3 companies in 3 city/regions; offer different perspectives on how companies (can) connect with city • e.g. in one city: • Brewery: physical collaborative city platforms with neighbourhood and government on local culture (heritage, food, football,…) • Law firm: collaborative city training platform on busi ness skills with local businesses • Media company: own business developments are debated with neighbourhood on regular meetings

Public Action: Governance and Policy Making Design participatory platforms on sustainable work in the city Media company organises regular meetings between company, policy and neighbourhood on developments in the company. Over time, these meetings became a very important participatory platform for all kinds of issues on collaborative city making, that extend beyond the company’s goals.

Contextual maps: disclose interactions/tensions between work and living • 9 companies; 3 companies in 3 city/regions; offer different perspectives on how companies (can) connect with city • e.g. in one city: •Contextual maps: disclose interactions/tensions betwe en work and living •Historical storylines: disclose important turning points in growth company in city •Public actions: articulate and further develop existing productive interactions work-living environment


Public Action: Activism and Civic Participation Design border spaces The media company has created green borders between the company and the neighbourhood to prevent confrontation neighbourhood with nuisance typical to media/print production. These borders are praised by nature organisations because of the ecological diversity and informally used by the neighbourhood to play.

Public Action: Social Interactions and Relations From information design to design for exchange The media company is specialised in communication. To anticipate on tensions with the neighbourhood, they started using their communication skills to inform the neighbourhood about their sustainable actions. The digital platform that is used for this purpose can be further developed in an interactive platform where also citizens, policy and local organisations can share/ debate data on experiences and sustainable actions in the neighbourhood.

Public Action: City and Environmental Planning From work sites to networked spaces/ From private to public design Where in history work spaces were intensely networked with the city, they became isolated sites. Today, we are again networking work spaces via soft connections or digital platforms. This implies a shift from designing for private sites to ‘public design’: designing the private in relation to the public sustainable development goals. The media company redesigned their transport that was focused on their site, into a more city-wide mobility plan.


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Public Action: Skill Training and Design Education Visualising public role/ Reflecting on public role/ Negotiating public role/ Taking public action The design process with the media company was used as a vehicle to build capabilities with them, governments and citizen representatives to collectively 1. visualise their public role, 2. reflect on their public role, 2. negotiate their public role, 3. to take public action in the framework of sustainable city development.



Public Action: Job Creation From specialised to networked jobs In the media company media specialisst were not only focused on their professional work of media production, but also in communicating with the neighbourhood. While job creation is often thought of in specialised networks and domains, this project re-articulates the potential of work spaces and jobs across the boundaries between private Instead of designing artefacts, we designed public actions that companies, citizens and policy can collaboratively take to enhance the productive and sustainable interactions between work and living environments, making use of diverse tools, platforms, spaces etc.

Conclusion: Storytelling and Visualisation Storybox for sharing public capabilities/ Toolbox for building public capabilities We used storytelling and visualisation to support this process 1.a storybox: 9 semi-speculative historical stories of companies in particular cities that share the capabilities of companies, citizens and policymakers in giving form to the public role of work in the city; 2.a toolbox that companies, governments and citizens can use to build these capabilities by making their own timeline, map and public action cards and learn from each other


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Urban Planting


Tsinghua DESIS Lab China Project Team of Innovative Food Network Promoter(s) Academy of Arts & Design DESIS Lab, Tsinghua University Funder(s) Tsinghua University Aknowledgements Zhong Fang, Xia Qing, Xia Nan, Zhu Lin, Chen Weiran, Su Yurong, Yang Xu

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Context Urban Planting is Increasingly popular in recent years. It has great potential for sustainable development, not only as green plantings which effectively reduce the building energy, beautiful landscaping and produce healthy food and as well as a social intervention into reform the new urban ecosystem.

The project


A series design of plant lighting products, recycled plant pots, intelligent information service system, and illustrations of vegetable in season, and also some local organic food and Planting vessel for home planting presented in this exhibition, Aim to facilitate Urban planting and advocate the healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

The design process | Aug 2013. Prepare And Team Building | Sep - Oct 2013. Study And Concept Design | Nov 2013. Prototyping And Test | Nov - Dec 2013. Co-work With Local Farmer And Organic Market Promoters | Dec 2013. Exhibition And Communicate With Visitors | Dec 2013 – Mar 2014. Disseminate The Idea And Maintainance


Activism and Civic Participation Collect Waste shopping bag from families; Close Relationship with Local Organic Farmers and Promotors

Production, Distribution and Consumption 0 miles food; Food sharing


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Design infrastructure Improving the enabling ecosystem with a hybrid collaborative platform: city-making involving the creation of ecosystems where, thanks to the existence of an appropriate material and non-material infrastructure, a variety of communities and social networks can thrive. The starting point of these projects is one or more (existing or to be created) physical artefacts which, once in place, could trigger and support different activities and communities. Operating in this

way, these artefacts can be considered as an infrastructure, and their design process as “infrastructuring� (i.e infrastructure creation). As a whole these projects propose the idea of a city as a set of ecosystems where a variety of communities and social networks can thrive.


Type of project Projects creating conditions in which different collaborative initiatives can emerge and thrive. Their results (such as knowledge, products, places and digital platforms) are to be considered as components of a new material and non-material infrastructure. Besides architecture and planning, the main design disciplines involved are interior and environment design and product-service system design.

Open questions How can design improve the existing material and non-material ecosystems? In other words, how can it collaborate in an unprecedented infrastructuring process? How can the existing enabling ecosystems be enhanced with new hybrid (physical and digital) collaborative platforms? How can some basic social, environmental and democratic values be embedded in these platforms?

Valencia. The Post-it City Project

SIX-DAC Spatial Interaction Design in African Cities

Co-designed temporary uses of empty spaces

Social Innovation Support Unit (UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro) (to strengthen the links between university and the broader society by fostering a mutual learning process

SPAIN – School of Design and Engineering – ETSID Valencia

Lettuce house

China, Tsinghua University DESIS Lab, Beijing Food, green homes and urban regeneration.


China, Tsinghua University DESIS Lab, Beijing Urban sustainability projects in the areas of walkability, youth hostels, green trucking and air pollution information.

Challenges for a cyclable city Brazil – UNISINOS

Rethinking cyclo-mobility, with the contribution of art

University of Johannesburg – FADA, Johannesburg)

USIS – Social Innovation Support Unit at UFRJ

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro To strengthen the links between university and the broader society by fostering a mutual learning process


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School of Design and Engineering ETSID DESIS Lab Valencia, Spain PhD. Chele Esteve, PhD. Teresa Magal Promoter(s) ETSID-UPV Funder(s) ETSID-UPV Aknowledgements PhD. Sergio Hoyas, Prof. Esther González, Pablo Ejarque González, Ángel García Gómez, and students from Master Industrial Design. ETSID. Subjet: New Promotional Paltforms years 20162017


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Context This term means when applied to a city and not about the yellow slip. The Post-it City concept was coined by Giovanni La Varra in his book Mutations (2001) to designate different temporary occupations of public space, which generate a new form of urbanism, aesthetics and architecture. In our case we would like to apply this concept in Valencia city.

The project


Probably our task is to learn how to see these places and talk about them. But is that enough? How can we finally build a post it city beyond the control, to institutionalization, a city that, ultimately, is known to continually reinvent? Or, on the contrary, if the power has definitely taken temporary practices, it is perhaps not the occasion for anyone interested in new forms of spaces and life, to cope with the power to open face and back start working the concept of permanence, monument and stability? Post-it city: The Other European Public Spaces// Giovanni La Varra

Governance and Policy Making The blank space as synonymous with unused places This project is an attempt to contribute in the city of Valencia with small actions that contribute with a social benefit through the new uses of empty spaces


The design process 1-To find out unused space in the city of Valencia and take some pictures 2-To think about uses for this space with a social benefit 3-To use the concept and ideas "post it", to develop 4-To prototipe the final concept 5-To present and exhibit in an unic big size post it the project, in order to inform the citizens and get the attention of the local government

Activism and Civic Participation To sweep and to cook: two actions share The GREEN VALENCIA and SOCIAL COOKING VALENCIA projects, are two ideas to promote activism and civic participation. The ability of individuals and groups to contribute to these two projects are to promote change and democratization through two actions: sweep and cook. To sweep with neighbors in your neighborhood, in order to keep the city clean as your home, and share multiculturalism with citizens of different countries to encourage integration through the cuisine of each place.


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Social Interactions and Relations THE GAMES: CREATING ONE CITY, is a project to promote interactions and social relationships through street play, as it used to be done in the city and nowadays only in some towns or in the school playground.

Skill Training and Design Education Borders created by imposition can be erased with imagination


The ONE PUNTO Y COMA, aims to blur the line that separates two neighborhoods, one of upper middle class and another very marginal. A street separates them from the city of Valencia, for which joint artistic actions have been

Job Creation To start from the neighborhood of your city The idea of this project: POST IT CITY MARKET, is to develop a platform to give visibility to artists, craftsmen and nobel designers in the different neighborhoods of the city. A business model that helps entrepreneurs to make


Storytelling and Visualisation Prototiping, testing and telling; ideas sharing One of the values of the group of students is the multiple nationalities, which allows approaching the approaches from different perspectives and with different visions. Summarize in a single post it the work of the project and try to narrate our history is a task that requires capacity for synthesis.


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Lettuce House


Tsinghua University Tsinghua DESIS Lab China Liu Xin, He Ding, Wang Wei, Hu Yechang, Chen Weiran, Su Yurong, Xu Xitong, Yang Xu, You Wanrong Promoter(s) Participatory Community Center, Arts and Science Research Center Tsinghua University Funder(s) Mr. Niu Jian from Participatory Community Center Aknowledgements Mr. Niu Jian - Participatory Community Center, Dr. Lv Mingyue -Tsinghua University

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Context With the acceleration of urbanization and overconsumption of material resources, people crave a natural and green lifestyle. They want to have a pastoral life, but do not want to leave cities. At present, China has not a community or a systematic experiment putting together the buildings, ecological systems, processes, business models and participation of people.

The project


The project is applying green, healthy and low carbon lifestyle into real scenes and leading more people to concerning, understanding and participating in the sustainable lifestyle practice. The project makes efforts in the aspects of the plan of sharing life concepts, the design and construction of container houses, utilization of clean energy, disposal of household garbage, application of reclaimed water facilities and methane system, and the promotion and product development of household organic farming techniques. It is dedicated to build a comprehensive experimental system of sustainable life and explore its possible application to the construction of a new sustainable community.


The design process | Dec 2013. Discussion and Idea Generation | Jan-Feb 2014. Research and System Concept Design | Mar-April 2014. Site Selection and Building Design | May-July 2014. The Detail Design and Co-construction | July 2014. Prototyping and Test | Aug 2014-Ongoing. Open and Communicate with Visitors, Idea Dissemination Prepare the Workshop for Next Stage

Governance and Policy Making Available Land; Government Endorsement; Striving for More Policies for Social Innovation We expect to show a better community model and a sustainable lifestyle to NGO, government and whole society. But it is very hard to find the land for the lab construction without Government Endorsement. We are trying to get more support from the local government. This experiment is a good opportunity striving for more policies for social innovation.


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Activism and Civic Participation Volunteers Participation Potential Members of Participatory Community Except Mr. Niu Jian and his families, some volunteers had participated in the construction of the Lab. They help to install the plant lamps, fix the flowerpot, and also to raise new suggestions for ecological system. They are potentially the Participatory Community Members.

Social Interactions and Relations


Over 5 Million Reposts in WeChat Visit and Consult Inspiration With the dissemination in WeChat platform (with over 5 million reposts) , Mr. Niu and his container houses got famous in China. A lot of people come to visit and consult, including experts, designers, NGO, businessmen and community residents. The project inspired a group of people participate in the practice of new sustainable lifestyle.

Storytelling and Visualisation Key tasks in this project are as follows: 1) to conceive basic functions, facilities and story plots for thesustainable lifestyle lab; 2) to conceive related ecological recycling technologies (the operation graph of lab system); 3) to design buildings, spaces and environments; 4) to design family plantation products. And others.


Skill Training and Design Education Design Workshops and Classes Free Training Students and other citizens who yearn for the sustainable lifestyle are welcome to visit and communicate with Mr. Niu and Prof. Liu’s team. There are also some design workshops and classes for people to learn how to establish a participatory community project. All the plans about designs, skills and techniques of the lab construction are free to share with the visitors and audients. We want the idea is widely spread and practiced.

Production, Distribution and Consumption Own Planted Organic Vegetables Not for selling, just for sharing Mr. Niu and his wife made the pickles by using their own planted organic vegetables. In fact, they have planted various kinds of vegetables and they can not eat so much. In the second phase of this project, they must have more production, but they do not want to sell, just for sharing with others neighbors.


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Tsinghua Service Design Institute Tsinghua DESIS Lab China Zhiyong Fu Promoter(s) Tsinghua University, Information Art and Design Dept. Stanford University, Urban Data Party Funder(s) Clean Air Asia Aknowledgements Yang Zhou, Jing Hu, Siyue Wang, Zhan Su, Yunzi Qian, Yuxiang Wu, Yipei Shen, Yuxiao Pu, Zirui Huang, Lijun Ma, Fei Yang, Aihua Mu.


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Context With 30 years rapid development, the Beijing city is facing challenges in urbanization nowadays. The traditional industries have great potential to be revolutioned or optimized by Information Community Technology in the time of information.

The project Collaborated with Clean Air Asia, Tsinghua University students and Stanford students teamed up to carry out urban sustainability projects in the areas of walkability, youth hostels, green trucking and air pollution information. 136

The design process | Mar 2014. project orientation | Apr 2014. field research | May 2014. concept brainstorming with Stanford University | Jun 2014. prototype and exhibition


Micro Travel

Green Freight

Reduce the cognitive work; Satisfy the needs; Enhance the efficiency

Reduce truck emission; Raise public awareness

We took the lodgers of youth hostel as target users, and interviewed more than 100 people from different countries. Combining the results of our interviews and the study of tourism behavior, we proposed the solution in order to give users better experience during their stay in youth hostel.

Micro Travel Mobile / systematic / online to offline By using the app on the network and mobile port, users can browse the ‘route book’ of each hostel and choose one that fit their needs the most. During the trip, they can use app to record their trips and build up their own route based on this hostel. When the route-building is done, the travel path of the lodger will be printed into a postcard by the youth hostel, which could be sent as a souvenir to the lodger or placed in the hostel as a reference for the other lodger (the tradition setting of the youth hostel)

Our mission is to reduce the air pollution in China by advocating the nationwide implementation of green freight policies to government officials. We hope to cause great concern from the government and the public through an information motion graph video.

Walkable City Service Design Walkability; Pedestrian friendly We seek to explore and address the issue of walkability in China by examining the issue through the lens of the Beijing experience. Several studies have reached conclusions that suggest that pedestrian-friendly urban development is both an indicator of environmental quality and a key determinant of sustainability.


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Walk!Man Participatory interaction; Online community Walk!Man aims to improve the walkability of the city by engaging pedestrians on an interactive online platform that allows them to offer recommendations that will improve walking conditions for pedestrians.

Walk!Man Educate public; Walkability app 138

Provide pedestrians with a better understanding of where they can walk. Educate app users about different aspects of street designs that can improve the walking experience. Create an app that will be useful in a wide variety of cities throughout Asia. Encourage users to think critically about the streets on which they walk, and enable them to make useful recommendations for improving the streets.


Breathe of Life OTT(Over The Top) App; Air quality visualization We develop a pollution monitoring app for the WeChat platform. While many air quality apps already exist, our app aims to go further by providing users with more information about the health effects and sources of different pollutants. Users will also be able to supplement official pollution data with their own opinions and photos of their local environment.

Green Cloud Touch truck drivers; Caring the ignored Interviews with truck drivers revealed that load management was the number one problem of Chinese truck drivers. It will therefore be the main feature of the app. The added value of the app is to get real-time, locationbased information about loads. To further attract users, we will build on drivers' current use of mobile phones to talk with colleagues and friends. We will offer a feature to locate friends nearby and to communicate with them. Finally, a few tools like gas prices, weather forecasts and green freight tips are integrated into the app for further development. The aim is to start simple and integrate more features when the user base is built and willing to have access to more advanced services.


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Challenges for a Cyclabe City:



UNISINOS DESIS Lab Brazil Ana Paula Silveira dos Santos, Ione Bentz.

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Context The exercise of using metadesign in order to project a Cyclable City can contribute towards the development of those cities whose transportation infrastructure is less than ideal, if this exercise is viewed through the lens of value-generating social innovation. In this context, a ‘less than ideal transportation infrastructure’ means an urban space in which there is a cycling network which has been adapted to the existing automobile and pedestrian traffic infrastructure, in a manner that is unnatural and/or imposed.

The project 142

The aim of this project is to envisage imaginary scenarios for a city whose transportation infrastructure is of the aforementioned type: where the possibilities of success of any urban cycling strategies range from very scarce to completely absent.

The design process The methodological process via scenarios is a fertile ground for practices and strategies which could shape the building of a cyclable city. The first step comprises a field study; the second focuses on a workshop with the goal of designing scenarios, and the third establishes a connection between the data collected in the field and the scenarios designed by means of metadesign.


Activism and Civic Participation ‘People visble to people’ ‘Friendly, affective and human city'

The designer proposes the interpretation by two plastic artists / illustrators of the concepts developed during the design process by scenarios for the creation of a Cyclable City. The concept that guided the process of metadesign was "people visible to the people" and "friendly, caring and human city".

Social Interactions and Relations ‘Change the city step by step through conscientiousness’ ‘Educate through exposed art on the street’ ‘Engage people through art’

The project is related to social interactions and relationships when it is able to work in a participatory way with the neighborhood of a neighborhood and with the people of the city, regardless of having to wait for the initiative of the organizations. Stimulate the union of people to take up education broadly in urban space.


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City and Environmental Planning ‘Processes of designing a Cyclable City’ ‘Incremental transformation’

The processes of designing a cyclable city along the path of social innovation are relevant, when they are approximated to the processes of meaning for the understanding and formulation of meaning of the urban narrative. It is the creative processes responsible for transforming cities and transitioning the actors-subject and actors-objects between the possible and the real.


Skill Training and Design Education ‘Realize the richness during the process’

The project would be related to the training of skills, education and design, when one understands the richness contained in the design process and in the metaprojective action that stimulates visions and imaginative scenarios.

Storytelling and Visualisation ‘Project scenarios’ ‘Idea sharing’

The designer encouraged the participants via projection of scenarios to be possible to create visions that would help in the process of co-creation of the cyclable city.visions and imaginative scenarios.



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Design Society Development (DSD) DESIS Lab South Africa, University of Johannesburg. Promoter(s) Terence Fenn, Jhono Bennett & Afua Wilcox Funder(s) UJ Teaching Innovation Fund Manchester Leverhume grant Acknowledgements Angus Donald Campbell, Desiree Smal, Tasmin Donaldson


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The project

The rapid urbanisation of African populations across the conti-nent has disrupted not only traditional life but also notions of the ‘city’ inherited from a colonial legacy. Emerging African mega-cities are often characterised by inequality, poverty and scarcity, as well as innovation, ingenuity and vibrancy. Complimenting a global focus on city-making, civic rights and human-centric technology and systems, the SIX-DAC project seeks to explore these concept, from a uniquely African perspective.

In this project, researchers and designers involved in the DSD DESIS Lab and partner organisations explore a variety of aspects related to spatial and interaction design in urban African contexts. Primary objectives of SIX-DAC include: •

• •


Exploring the characteristics, tensions and benefitsof integrating spatial and performative-orientated design theory and practice in order to establish a conceptual framework for future work. Employing participatory modes of engagement in order to collectively and civically participate in remaking the city To better understand the notion of an afro-centric productionof space/place and the subsequent enabling of related activities and environments through meaningful design interventions.

Sub-projects under SIX_DAC include: • • •

Codes of Engagement Workshop series Co-design of blended spaces in urban South African contexts. Phd Research through Design project. Co-designing the digital library experience with and for small-scale farmers.

Masters Research through Design projects: • • • •

Smart Technologies in the Internet of Things. 4th year Industrial and Interaction Design student project Tlhakantsha Integrated Student Challenge Designing With and For Local Communities Student Project


The design process A variety of participatory and co-design design research me-thods within a pragmatic practice-based research paradigm are employed. Methods are chosen based on their suitability for the intentions of each individual sub-project.

Governance and Policy Making • • • •

Multi-stakeholder Engagement Bottom-up city making Community Dialogue Design-led change

As an emerging project SIX-DAC is informed through engagement with a number of partners such as One:One (local NGO), RAUM (Sheffield University, Department of Architecture) and the Manchester Leverhume Grant Project: Scaling up participation in urban planning.

Activism and Civic Participation City-making through civic participation SIX-DAC sub-projects have a strong emphasis on preparing designers and design students to participate with communities in ethical and impactful ways. Many of our projects include direct participation with community members, organisations and local activists City and Environmental Planning • Diverse & representative stakeholders • Johannesburg • Policy and People SIX-DAC envisions bottom-up community driven approaches to urban solutions. This takes place where possible within municipal planning but can also question the validity of such planning.


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Skill Training and Design Education • • • •

PHD Studies Master Studies Professional workshops On-the-ground service learning

The current emphasis of SIX-DAC is preparing professional designers, architects and students for engaging with participatory design practices in local communities

Storytelling and Visualisation • • •


Generative approaches Envisioning through co-design Knowledge sharing

Storytelling and conversation provide the opportunity for designers to share their skills and for local experts to help the designers understand contextual realities. Stories, lead to concepts and prototypes, which aim to deeply address the needs and support the motivations of the local partners.



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Federal University of Rio de Janeiro UFRJ DESIS Lab Brazil Carla Cipolla, Rita Afonso, et al. Funder(s) Erasmus+ Programme pf teh European Union Promoter(s) COPPE UFRJ; Dep. Eng. Industrial UFRJ; COPPEAD UFRJ; FAAC/ UFRJ; Agência de Inovação da UFRJ; Promoter(s) LASIN - Latin American Social Innovation Network, Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union


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Context There are many social innovation initiatives in the city of Rio de Janeiro that needs support. Universities have lot of human resources, particularly students that are ready to engage and support these initiatives and teachers and technitians, withknowledge and skills to support social innovation processes.

The project The USIS - Social Innovation Support Unit at UFRJ aims to strengthen the links between university and the broader society by fostering a mutual learning process between university members and social innovators.

The design process 154

Co-design processes Capacity building activities and mutual-learning processes Mentoring (for students and for social innovators) Networking (connect social innovators to resources inside and outside the university) The USIS operates in a decentralized way: teams are composed by professors and its students that work together with each social innovator. The USIS operates in one semester or year cycles on which a specific deliverable is defined and co-produced with each social innovator.

Social Interactions and Relations The USIS is a social innovation itself, because it is connecting professors and students from different departments, institutes and disciplinary areas in the university, which is not usual. It creates a interdisciplinary area, that is being developed in interaction with social innovators. For the DESIS Lab it was important, because the USIS performs the DESIS mission, but in an interdisciplinary way.


Motivations and working model Credits for students/ Workload for professors Participation in the USIS provide credits for students (they need these credits to fulfill the requirements to finish their undergraduate studies) and workload for professors (this allow progression in their academic ranks).

Skill Training and Design Education New competences developed with the project stakeholders on design for social innovation Design for social innovation theories and practices are developed jointly in the university (with other departments and institutes, and also international partners) and social innovators, it is empowering the DESIS Lab knowledge and diffusing its approach to other groups in the university and vice-versa.

Storytelling and Visualisation envisioning in co-design sessions/ ideas sharing Storytelliing and visualization skills are being one of the key contributions to the USIS interdisciplinary team. The Design for social innovation tools and experiences brought by the DESIS Lab either. But not only: the UFRJ DESIS lab coordinates the project and brought the design approach to social innovation to partners.


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City-making, Social Innovation & Contemporary design City-Making In a world that is changing fast, traditional city planning has progressively been paralleled by more flexible processes: city-making projects. Thanks to these, different parts of cities are conceived and developed with consideration given to both the physical and social dimensions of the spaces. The approach utilises traditional city planning tools, run in parallel with new ways of planning that include a significant contribution from the design disciplines, as they currently stand (see later in this paper)1.

Today, mainstream city-making projects very often end up exacerbating the problems of inequality, segregation and the commodification of the urban commons. However, a more attentive observation of contemporary societies in all their present contradictions shows that the contrary can also be the case. Social innovation in city contexts reveals examples of city-making projects that contribute to reducing inequality, creating a diversified and vibrant urban fabric2. City development projects of the mainstream kind – presently dominant – tend

to be driven by the interests of those who consider the city, in all its aspects, as a marketable good. On the contrary, those based on the second trend are usually driven by social actors who see the city as a complex living entity, made of people, communities and places whose existence is based on a mesh of collaborative projectsÂł.


Social Innovation More than a decade of social innovation has given us a series of practical examples of how a sustainable city of the future could be. Bottom-up initiatives have been paralleled by top-down ones, and new coalitions have been created (between local administrations, active citizens, civil society associations, social and market-oriented enterprises, research centres and universities). Inspired by these examples, some cites have redesigned their transportation systems in order to adopt a pedestrian and cycle-centric mobility approach⁴. Others are rethinking food, security, developing urban and peri-urban farming⁵; still others are introducing the concept of city re-industrialisation, giving space to networks of small enterprises and traditional and digital artisans⁶. Finally, some cities have conceived and developed programmes that integrate different bottom-up projects, thus creating large, articulated programmes of urban regeneration⁷. When we consider all of these together, what we have is the scenario of the Collaborative City: a city where collective intelligence thrives and becomes collective design capability. Public spa-

ces, urban commons and collaborative services have a crucial role to play if we are to advance towards this vision. They can also generate a positive loop: more collaborative services and more public spaces generate more urban commons where, in turn, more collaborative design capabilities can emerge and thrive. In short, these collaborative cities are conceived as a broad enabling ecosystem aimed at triggering and supporting initiatives of different natures and scales.

Contemporary design In the 21st century, design has taken on a rather different character to the one it had in the previous century. Two main characteristics make this difference. The first is that we now refer to design as an approach, a culture and a set of tools applicable to all kinds of complex issues⁸. In particular, the issues that are most relevant for us here are those based on interactions between people, and between people, products and places⁹ (this is the case for all city-making projects). The second main characteristic

of contemporary design depends on the fact that, in networked societies, the position and role of the professional designers is changed. Traditionally, they have been seen, and have seen themselves, as the only creative members of interdisciplinary design processes. In the emerging scenario this clear distinction is blurred, and designers now becomes the professional design expert among many other social actors who are using, in their own way, their natural design capabilities. However, despite this blurring of roles, the design expert’s one has not become less important. On the contrary; in this new context, design experts may have a central role in bringing specific design competences to these larger co-design processes¹º. That is to say, they may become process drivers and facilitators who use specific design skills to enhance the other actors’ abilities to be good designers themselves (Box 1: The Designer’s contribution to designing networks). Box 1 The Design Expert’s Contribution to Designing Networks Design experts can stimulate and support design networks in several ways: generating original ideas, interacting with local communities to spark off new initiatives or support ongoing ones,


DESIS Network Project Compilation

and feeding designing networks – and the social conversation that sustains them – with the necessary design knowledge11. • Investigating, to explore local resources and social innovation initiatives using ethnographic tools, and user and people-centred design approaches, to better understand problems and opportunities. • Facilitating, to support the co-design processes using participative design tools to facilitate interaction and convergence between the parties involved. • Visioning, to feed the specific codesign processes with scenarios and proposals, and to do so at different scales: from the smallest (considering specific local problems), to the largest (aiming to build shared visions of the future). • Communicating, to give social innovation initiatives more visibility, help people to understand them, and create the preconditions needed to disseminate them through specifically designed communication programmes (websites, books, exhibitions, movies, etc.). • Enabling, to empower individuals and communities with a specific solution

(enabling solutions), which allows them to start and manage new and promising collaborative organisations. • Replicating, to scale up promising collaborative organisations, making them more replicable, thanks to toolkits and/or specifically conceived products and services. • Synergising, to promote large-scale systemic changes and regional programmes with the development of framework strategies, specifically conceived to systemise, and synergise, a range of local initiatives.